Given that the traditional Geezers have been terrifically lazy of late, we are pleased to welcome to these pages the words of Sehr Wenig, a guest Geezer for whom we have high hopes, as her talent, ironically, is very large. From time to time—and perhaps quite often, if we're lucky— Sehr's essays and observations will offer respite from the manly rantings of Mercurious, the Professor and other Emeriti.
Saturday afternoon at The Grove, an upscale open air shopping area behind the CBS production lot. I'm sitting on the patio of my favorite restaurant there, drinking a raspberry lemon drop and eating a salad.
Across the walkway, beside a dancing fountain stands a 40-ish man holding a huge bouquet of orange roses wrapped in orange paper. A small green bag from a jewelry store dangles from his left hand. He faces the alley between the restaurant where I'm sitting and another one across the way, scanning the crowd for The One.
Pink Shirt Guy places the roses on the ledge surrounding the fountain, sits beside them, and rests the bag at his feet. After a moment, he adjusts the roses so the blooms face the alley. After another moment, he stands up, restores the roses to his arms and the bag to its dangle, and paces two steps each direction, never looking away from the alley for more than a few seconds at a time.
Small drops of sweat stream down his face and you can tell he knows they're there but has nothing to wipe them away with. He stops pacing and squints into the sun, then turns in a circle, eyes jerking behind his Burberry sunglasses. Now the flowers are back on the ledge. Now they're back in his arms.
He strides away from the fountain, toward a small patch of shade. From under two small trees, he adjusts his position to maximize his visibility from the alley. The bag is at his feet and the roses down at his side while he peers at his cell phone as though willing a text message to appear. Without a hocus for this pocus, the roses move back to a pageant-queen embrace and the bag back to mid-knee, label forward.
Eventually, his face lights up and he steps forward eagerly to greet a small, slightly round, brown skinned woman with wild gray hair and a shy smile. He presents her with the roses and leads her to the restaurant where I'm sitting but too far away for me to hear even a word of their conversation.
Better this way. The endings I made up are sure to be more entertaining than the truth.